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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Stephen Isaac Wins 300m Hurdles Title

The Scottish website click here reports the achievements of Florence Reynolds in the Senior Girls 2000m steeplechase (silver) and Ariana Harper in the Junior Girls 800m (bronze). Also worthy of mention is the win by Stephen Isaac in the Open Boys 300m Hurdles and his third placing in the Senior Boys 110m hurdles.
Full results from the meeting are here:
Track & Field click here
Road Races click here

Monday, 13 December 2010

Jacko Gill - Olympian In The Making

New Zealand athlete Jacko Gill has made another enormous stride in his burgeoning shot put career by smashing the world under-18 record.

Competing at the national secondary school championships in Hastings, Gill threw the shot 23.86m, eclipsing the previous mark by 68cm.

The relatively-lightly built Gill was quick to credit coach Didier Poppe for the achievement and restated his desire to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, when he would be just 18.

"If I want it enough, I can do anything. I really do want it so I think anything's possible," he told One News.

"I'm going to try to get to London and hopefully medal or get in the top eight there."

The Takapuna Grammar student made international headlines this year when he became the youngest ever male junior world champion, with victory at Moncton, Canada courtesy of a 22.53m throw. The previous youngest was Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt.

Poppe was stunned by Gill's achievement this weekend.

"We have never seen the like. Nobody in the world has ever seen something like that and everybody's starting to look at Jacko like he's coming from another planet," he said.

Source: (NZPA) 12 December 2010

World junior shot put champion Jacko Gill eclipsed the world record for a 17 year old with the 5kg shot put at the New Zealand Secondary Schools athletic championships in Hastings on Saturday.

The 15 year old sent the shot out to 23.86m to add 63 centimetres to the previous best by for 17 year old set by Krzysztof Brzozowski of Poland, in beating
Gill at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August.

Gill, competing for Takapuna Grammar School, now holds the world record in both the 5kg and 6kg shot for every age from 14 to 17.

Gill said that he knew the record was there after throwing 22 metres consistently in training.

“There is still a lot more left,” he said.

Source: Athletics New Zealand Press Release 13 December 2010

Photos show Jacko Gill 9 months ago in typical record breaking form at the North Island Secondary Schools Track & Field Champs demolishing the previous Intermendiate Boys Shotput record of 17.71 metres with a final throw of 20.85 metres.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

2010 Gold Programme 10k Track Race Newtown Park Sat 4 Dec

The weather conditions for this race were ideal for spectators and the Rees Buck support crew. For the athletes though it was probably a bit hot to be running 25 laps around a 400m track. I guess it would have been about 23 degrees give or take a bit. Six started the race but only five finished.

A crude commentary goes something like this. After a few laps top masters athlete, Grant Mclean and Julian Cook take the lead and have about a 150m - 200m break on Rees Buck, Tomas Bridgman and Joel Wyatt for the early stages of the race. Rees decides to catch up to Grant and Julian who have been sharing the lead. This goal eventually achieved, Rees then pulls away from Grant with Julian sitting third. Rees wins, crossing the line in 33.19.8 followed by Grant and then Julian. Tomas comes in fourth having been left to his own devices after being abandoned earlier by Rees and then subsequently by Joel (who pulled out). Meanwhile pushing the race leaders from the back of the field was Peter Wrigley our Chief Walk Judge training up for London 2012. Overall a good honest race with too few competitors. Well done to everyone who took part.

The final results were:

Rees Buck Wellington Scottish Athletics Club 33:19.8
Grant McLean Wellington Scottish Athletics Club 33:26.2
Julian Cook Wellington Scottish Athletics Club 33:42.7
Tomas Bridgman Wellington Scottish Athletics Club 34:35.3
Peter Wrigley Wellington Scottish Athletics Club 44:16.0
Joel Wyatt Hutt Valley Athletic Club DNF

2010 Central Regional Team Competition Round 3 Newtown Park Wellington Sat 27 Nov

Billy Crayford (Wellington Harriers) was in a class of his own at Newtown Park on Saturday clearing 2.14m in the high jump at the Regional Teams meeting. Based on information posted on NZRun those athletes who have cleared seven feet in the high jump (2.14m equals 7ft ¼ in.) are:

2.30 Glen Howard 2000
2.24 Roger Te Puni 1990
2.16 Kirk McNeely 1986
2.15 Terry Lomax 1981
2.15 Jeffrey Brown 1988
2.14 Chris Trabing 1983
2.14 Keith Olds 1989
2.14 Billy Crayford 2010

Others who have gone close are:

2.13 Steven Hollings 1988
2.12 Grant Landery 1980
2.12 Bill Boyd 1984
2.12 Kris de Jong 1985
2.12 Ray Featherstone 1991
2.10 Lindsay Guthrie 1977
2.10 Mark Woolley 1983
2.10 Geoff Beckett 1991
2.10 Dwain Geddes 1994
2.10 Grant Knaggs 2004
2.08 Dave McDonald 1981
2.08 Peter Ranginui 1989
2.08 Ben Giles 2005

Also at the Regional Teams meeting 17 year old Brad Mathas (Wanganui) ran 800m in an outstanding 1m 51.25s. He set a new record by repeating this time at the NZ Secondary Schools Track & Field Champs held recently in Hastings.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

2010 College League Day 3 Newtown Park Sat 23 Oct

Florence Reynolds, Wellington Girls College easily clears the water jump in the 1500m steeplechase event. Florence will be competing in this event at the 2010 NZ Secondary Schools track & field champs to be held in early December.

Results are here

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

2010 College League Day 2 Newtown Park Sat 16 Oct

The start of the 2000m race, which unfolded as a battle to the finish between Jack Oliver and Jonathon Justice.

Results are here

Monday, 11 October 2010

2010 College League Day 1 Newtown Park Sat 9 Oct

After successfully clearing 1.85m, Scott Thomson (Mana) has no luck at the 1.9m height. Full results are here

Monday, 16 August 2010

2010 Bays Relay Wellington

The Bays Relay is a very short 5 lap, 22.1KM road relay which as the title suggests is run around some of Wellington's scenic coast. This year the fastest team cut out the distance in around 67 minutes and 42 seconds which may be a record. The worst thing about relays is waiting nervously for your team mate to arrive for the changeover. The best bit is the finish.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

2010 National XC Champs Waikanae

Ths is Grace McConnochie from Gisborne, the 15 year old winner of the Girls 16 race. At last year's championships she finished 7th in her grade, so the 10 second winning margin this year is a great improvement.

The photo above shows a sprightly Len Wilson clearing the first hurdle on the Waikanae course. He was one of four individuals who were in the 75-79 year old Masters grade and no doubt there would have been a keen tussle amongst this group of gentleman for supremacy.

Len is a member of the Auckland Technical Club although these days he is based in Thames. He has completed in all of his club's XC Championship races for the last 62 years and has missed few if any of the Auckland Centre XC championship events.

Alan Stevens, the eminent patron of Scottish Harriers, says that when he was competing, Len Wilson was always in the veteran events. He recalled that his initial contact with Len was through his father Tom Wilson. Tom was a member of the 1928 NZ team that competed in Australia and "lived to a ripe old age". Alf Stevens, Alan's father knew Tom well when he was a member of the Olympic Club in Wellington. According to Alan, Tom’s brother Peter was a real character in the sport.

It would be great if next year, the NZRun video team got some interview footage of Len and his competitive mates, because I am sure they would have some great stories to tell.

The photo is of Aucklander Alex Parlane, the winner of the 2010 Senior Men’s XC Championship 12k race. Alex is a first year senior and the title win has capped off a very successful winter season for him. The fence he is jumping over is at the top of the Waikanae course and is just before the long downhill section. In wet and greasy conditions the fence can be a hazard to shipping and a few weeks ago during the Wellington XC champs a few competitors came to grief on this particular obstacle. In his Dominion Post interview, Alex described his jumping skill on the last few laps as "like a granny", which to some extent is evidenced by the other photos. Regardless of any hurdling imperfections, he won the race easily and that is a significant achievement. Well done Alex!

Results for other Parlane performances can be found at Coach Dave Drummonds website click here

If we are comparing hurdling techniques, this is how Hamish Carson does it.

When considering good performances on the day, we can't forget the success of Matt Baxter (Taranaki) who easily won the Men 16 race. I understand that Matt may be related to Robbie Baxter, a member of the powerful 80's New Plymouth road relay team that included Paul Ballinger and Gerald & Max Dratvitzki.

Who could ignore this smiling lass photographed in the12yo girls 2km race at the back of the course where the background and light were just right.

Monday, 2 August 2010

2010 Baudinet Cup Titahi Bay

This photo was taken on Titahi Bay beach and shows young Liam in the junior race looking back at the camera as he heads toward the finish line. This event gets quite busy because at its peak, there are 3 races going at the same time with runners coming toward and away from the camera. Last year the tide was out and the light made the wet sand shimmer, but not this year.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

2010 Welly XC Champs Waikanae 17 Jul

The rain and mud made the course tricky to navigate in parts, especially if spikes weren’t being worn. There were a few mishaps at the hill top fence but I suspect there were a few spills on other parts of the course.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

2010 Harbour Capital Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and Kids Races

The weather for this event was cold and wet even though the forecast was for an improvement later in the day. The marathon run and walk starts were in the dark and the rain and wind through most of the morning would have made this a very uncomfortable event. The half marathon, 10k and kids 1 mile races all started in rainy conditions and I have no doubt that many would have preferred to be at home in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a gingernut. The photo of the kids in their animal suits was irresistible and even though it isn’t obvious there were hoards of rug-rats behind these two. In the end the persistent rain driven by a strong southerly wind forced me to abandon the photography and seek shelter in the stadium. Let’s hope the weather gods will be kinder next year.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

NZRun TV at Schools XC

Every year I try and get to the national secondary schools XC races because they have the largest fields of any XC event in New Zealand. This year the chosen venue for the races was Waikanae Park which for many years has been the location of the Wellington XC champs. In a few weeks time it will also be the venue for the New Zealand XC champs.

The schools event is a torrid affair simply because there are a large number of competitors running relatively short distances. The first 2 races are 3k, the second 2 races are 4k and the last race is 6k. For any event I cover, it is may aim to get photos of as many competitors as possible. Unfortunately with the schools races that is rarely achieved mainly because my camera is not capable of generating 60 images a second. In addition many athletes get blocked from my view by other athletes. Still there tends to be plenty of people around with cameras both video and still so at least a record of some action is being captured for posterity.

NZ Run were there with a couple of video cameras and managed to get a series of interview with winners and place getters as well as the racing action. For those interested races in viewing the material recorded the place to go is

The photo shows Stefan Smith taking time away from training to take on his secondary role as NZRun reporter/cameraman

Aaron Meets Emmilyn

Here is another picture taken at the Dorne and even I confess is a little different. The photo needs to be viewed as a large image but shows a reclining Aaron Twiss and a flexible Emmilyn Stevens. I took the photo because I saw Emmilyn parroting what the top athletes do as part of their stretching routine. It was only later when I looked at the photo that I saw Aaron’s expression which is what makes this image work, for me at least. On the Scottish website Paul Rodway described Aaron as looking “sceptical”. Hamish’s mum described it as a “whatever” look, but my first impression was of a lingering glance of "disdain" toward what in another setting could have been a child ballerina. One day I might ask Aaron what he thinks of the photo.

Cooling Down

This photo was taken at the Dorne Cup and shows James Coubrough cooling down what appears to be a sore knee after he won the Dorne Cup Senior Men’s race. The finish line is about 110 metres or so from the creek so he had the time to cross the finish line, get his breath back, have a natter to the other place getters and then make his way back to the creek for the cold treatment. In the meantime, as the background shows the tail end runners were still in the last stages of the race. I like the photo because it wasn’t posed – I doubt that James knew that it was he who was being captured rather than the late finishers.